Job: Senior Research Associate: Manager of our Gas exchange measurement platform

Department: DPB – Plant Biology

Salary: $69,500

Location: Stanford, CA

The Burlacot Lab in the Biosphere Sciences and Engineering Division at the Carnegie Institution for Science is seeking a Senior Research Associate to run and maintain a membrane inlet mass spectrometer and contribute to research that aims to identify how environmental factors like light, CO2, and temperature impact the bioenergetics of photosynthetic CO2 fixation. 

The position is available immediately and involves the management of a Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer (MIMS), its calibration, maintenance, and repair.  The MIMS is a state-of-the-art technique for measuring gas exchange rates in aquatic environments and will be primarily used to establish gross photosynthetic O2 and CO2 exchange rates mediated by microalgae and other aquatic microorganisms. The position also involves co-leading a scientific project with Dr. Adrien Burlacot and Dr. Lorenzo Rosa to understand how photosynthetic electron transport is affected by varying light and temperatures. 

The scientific project involves the use of specific mutant strains of microalgae already available in the Burlacot Lab to establish how dynamic restructuration of photosynthetic electron transport allows the acclimation of microalgae to varying levels of light and temperature. 

The position is based in Dr. Adrien Burlacot’s lab and will involve collaboration with all lab members as well as researchers at the Biosphere, Science, and Engineering Division, offering excellent opportunities for joint mentoring and career development.

The Senior Research Associate will be responsible for the management of the MIMS maintenance and usage under the supervision of Dr. Adrien Burlacot. 

Position Duties

  • Maintenance, calibration, and run of our Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer.
  • After initial training, train students and other user on the instrument to have them being autonomous on the machine.
  • Work collaboratively with members of the Burlacot Lab and the Biosphere, Science, and Engineering Division to use gas exchange measurements for answering scientific questions related to algal photosynthesis and microbial physiology in aquatic ecosystems.
  • Develop methods to understand how algal photosynthesis responds to light, CO2, and temperature fluctuations.
  • Quantify the relationship between light intensity, external temperature, cell temperature and photosynthetic productivity.


  • Ph.D. in Biology, Chemistry, or related field.
  • Experience working with mass spectrometers in a laboratory context. 
  • Proficiency with using coding language (i.e. Python, R) for automatized data treatment. 
  • Proficiency in manipulating equations for the quantification of complex chemical reactions. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience exploring biological questions about cellular/subcellular processes is a plus.
  • Previous experience with microalgae or plants is a plus but not necessary.

Informal inquiries about this positions can be made by emailing Adrien Burlacot at Formal applications for employment must be submitted by clicking on the bar below, and must include a cover letter, CV, and list of at least three references.

The review of applications will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until it is filled. 

Carnegie is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability or any other protected status in accordance with applicable laws.